Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat > Puy de Dôme
07/09/2023 - Stage 9 - 182,5 km - Mountain
On the road
Closest KM: Lac de Vassivière (KM 32) up to Felletin (KM 72)
Stretching from Lac de Vassivière to Felletin, near the halfway point, today's stage runs parallel to Cycling Route 87, known as "La Vagabonde". At a length of 506 km and an elevation gain of 5,730 m across the entire route, this new trail is not for the faint-hearted. It connects the Allier department to Tarn-et-Garonne, from Lac de Vassivière to the plains of the Tarn, via the Millevaches Plateau, Dordogne Valley and Causses du Quercy Regional Natural Park. Today's leg starts at the base of Lac de Vassivière, one of the largest in France at 1,000 hectares, before discovering the wild banks of Lac de Lavaud-Gelade. Pedalling through the heart of the Creuse department, cycling tourists will explore La Nouaille and Saint-Marc-à-Loubaud, two villages steeped in legend… before reconnecting with the peloton in Felletin, a cradle of tapestry and gateway to the Millevaches Regional Natural Park.
NEW AQUITAINE REGION
Departments : Charente, Charente-Maritime, Corrèze, Creuse, Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Haute-Vienne.
Population: 6 million
Area: 2,011 km2
Specialities: Bordeaux wines, Cognac, Armagnac, Espelette chilli pepper, Périgord walnuts, Marmande tomatoes, oysters from the Arcachon basin, Salers meat, Aquitaine cow, Bayonne ham, Pauillac lamb, Bordeaux canelés. Goose, duck, Sarlat apples, Basque chicken, garbure, lamprey. Black truffle.
Sport clubs: Girondins de Bordeaux (football), Stade Montois, Union Sportive Dacquoise, Aviron Bayonnais, Union Bordeaux Bègles Atlantique, Stade Rochelais, CA Brive Corrèze Limousin, Section Paloise, Biarritz Olympique, SU Agen (rugby), Elan Béarnais Pau-Orthez, CSP Limoges (basketball).
Competitions: Tour de France, surfing in Lacanau (Lacanau Pro) and Biarritz. Tour du Limousin.
Festivals: Bayonne festival, Dax festival, Madeleine festival in Mont-de-Marsan, Francofolies in La Rochelle, Angoulême comic book festival, Brive book fair, Nuits de nacre in Tulle, Grand Pavois in La Rochelle, Garorock in Marmande, Cognac detective film festival
Economy: Bordeaux wines, Cognac and Armagnac, aeronautics and space industry, biotechnologies, chemistry, scientific research. Image and digital sector. Agri-food industry. Port of Bordeaux. Tourism. Universities.
Sights: Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion, La Rochelle, Biarritz, Arcachon basin, Dune du Pilat, Lascaux caves, Futuroscope in Poitiers, Lacanau beaches, Biarritz, Biscarosse, Hourtin, Carcans, Soulac-sur-Mer, Gironde river mouth, Bordeaux vineyards, Dordogne castles, Pau castle, Pyrenees, Oleron island, Ré island.
Websites and social networks: www.nouvelle-aquitaine.fr
Prefecture : Limoges
Sub-prefectures : Bellac and Rochechouart
Surface area: 5,520.1 km².
Specialities: Limousin cattle (veal raised under the mother), "Cul Noir" (Black Ass) pork, Baronet lamb, madeleines, marzipan (biscuits made from marzipan since the 19th century), burgou (traditional chestnut cake), feuillardier (chestnut liqueur).
Sports clubs: Limoges CSP (basketball), USAL (rugby union), Limoges Handball 87, Limoges Football Club, ROC ASSJ HB87
Competitions: Tour du Limousin (cycling), Course nature des gendarmes et des voleurs de temps (trail), Randonnez-vous en Haute-Vienne
Festivals : Culture au grand jour; La Route du Sirque; Graines de Rues; Urbaka; Les Bandafolie's; 1001 notes; National Festival of Bellac; Festival du Haut-Limousin; Musical Nights in Cieux; Le labyrinthe de la voix (The labyrinth of voice) in Rochechouart; Saint-Yrieix music festival; Cuivres en fêtes ; Mont-Gargan Festival; Paroles de conteurs (Tellers Tales); Francophonies in Limousin ; International caricature, press cartoon and humour festival in Saint-Just-le-Martel ; Biennale Danse émoi ; Eclats d'émail
Economy: agriculture (cattle and sheep breeding), porcelain industry, European ceramics cluster, Elopsys high-tech competitiveness cluster, wood and paper industry, crafts such as enamel, leather, "Made in France" clothing (Smuggler, Weston, Broussaud, Parallèle), electricity and home automation (Legrand).
Websites / FB / Twitter: https://www.haute-vienne.fr / https://www.chalucet.com / https://www.facebook.com/departementhautevienne / https://www.youtube.com/user/conseilgeneral87/videos / http://www.dailymotion.com/user/conseilgeneral87/1 / https://plus.google.com/+D%C3%A9partementHauteVienne
The village was built around the ruined castle of Larron, seat of the Larron family, which is situated in a loop of the Maulde, above the mill of Larron.
Construction: 17th century.
Characteristics: The one-storey high dwelling has the traditional layout of a simple, deep plan with a room on each level. The exterior is marked by a sort of pavilion, covered by a hipped roof, which dominates the rest of the building. The remarkably wide stairwell betrays a certain desire for pomp and circumstance. The timber dome with its lantern, as well as some sculpted decorative details such as oval oculi, reflect the taste of the time.
Current use: the castle is occupied by the Contrechamps association, which vows to create a shared resource centre for the general public in the fields of agriculture, food and health.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 2014.
It is worth seeing for its "castle", a vestige of the old city walls, and for its pond, dug in the 15th century, which was used at the time as a water reserve for fires, a basin for retting hemp, and a watering place for animals. Today, it is a 7.5 hectare area in the heart of the town. Another vestige of the Renaissance, one of the houses of the four consuls of the town has been listed as a Historical Monument since 1971. This is also the case for the church of Saint-Martin and Saint-Martial, listed in 1926. Peyrat-le-Château is the birthplace of motorbike racer Gilles Lalay, winner of the Paris-Dakar rally in 1989, who died three years later following an accident on the Paris-Cape Town rally. In the 1950s, the commune organised a cycling Grand Prix which a young local rider, Raymond Poulidor, won.
Tower of Peyrat-le-Château
Construction: 15th and 16th century.
Characteristics: tower-gate built at the end of the 15th century (last vestige of the urban enclosure of Peyrat), with a square plan, five levels high. Its south and north facades are pierced by a large door with a pointed arch and a window on each level. The south façade also has small superimposed bays illuminating a spiral staircase. Inside, the tower has retained its original layout almost intact, consisting of a granite-paved room on the first floor, with a beamed ceiling and exposed joists, fireplaces on each of the three habitable floors, windows with cushions, and corner latrines. In addition to this tower, there is a rectangular 16th century building, built against a fragment of the old enclosure wall and redesigned in the 18th century.
Current use: the castle houses the town's Resistance museum. This museum, a member of the network of National Resistance Museums (MRN), was created by the Association of Creators and Friends of the Departmental Museum of the Resistance of the 1st Limousin March Brigade in 1999.
Listed: Historical Monument since 1995.
Lake Vassivière is an artificial lake of 9.76 km2 created by the construction of a dam on the Maulde river at the exit of its valley framed by two hills. It is the largest lake in the Limousin and one of the largest artificial lakes in France. It is located in the north-western part of the Millevaches plateau, in the middle of a thick forest, spread over the departments of Creuse and Haute-Vienne. With more than 1,000 hectares of water, several beaches including those of Broussas and Vauveix, and several ports, Vassivière is a real seaside resort in the heart of France. Moreover, the area is covered by coastal law! To make it easier for visitors to get around without using a car, taxi boats are available. The Rives trail, which runs around the lake, is 30 km long. Lake Vassivière is well known to cycling fans: the road serving the villages around the lake has been named Raymond Poulidor circuit, in homage to the local star. Three individual time trials in the Tour de France have taken place around Lake Vassivière, each during the penultimate stage. The first was in 1985, won by Greg LeMond over a distance of 47.5km. The 1990 Tour saw Erik Breukink win over 45.5km. In 1995, a 46.5 km time trial around the lake was dominated by Miguel Indurain. The lake also hosted the finish of the third stage of Paris-Nice in 2012 won by Alejandro Valverde.
Construction: 17th and 19th centuries.
History and characteristics: it combines architectural styles from different periods. Between 1871 and 1888, Léonard Louis Vassivière had two square towers and two buildings added to the 17th century bourgeois house inherited from his family. This new neo-Gothic building, with its reuse of carved stone, is in keeping with the romantic fashion of the 19th century and in the spirit of Viollet-le-Duc's medieval restorations. In the 1930s, Jeanne Pascal-Vassivière, the daughter of Léonard Louis Vassivière, undertook major alterations to the château. She had the salamander decoration added above the entrance door and the imposing square crenellated tower which extends the left wing of the castle. In 1948, the Vassivière family had to give up a large part of their land for the construction of the dam. But they kept the island and its castle until 1977.
Specialities: flognarde (clafoutis), Creusois cake, potato pie, Creusois fondu.
Major sports clubs: Rugby club guéretois, ES Guéret (football), Aubusson basketball club.
Major competitions: Trail du Loup Blanc, Mornay Festival, Dun-le-Palestel cycling criterium, 10 hours of Vassivière (paddle)
Tourist sites: Lake Vassivière. International Tapestry City in Aubusson, Jouillat Castle, Boussac Castle, Crozant Castle, Gargilesse, Evau-les-Bains (thermal baths), Giant Labyrinth in Guéret.
Economy: agriculture (breeding), forestry, crafts (Aubusson tapestry). Green tourism.
Websites and social networks: www.creuse.fr, www.tourisme-creuse.com
Construction: 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.
History: the church of Saint-Germain has distant origins The present building dates from the end of the 13th century. The porch and bell tower above it appear to date from the 15th century. The bays of the bell tower with their pointed arches and the doorway with two arches, columns and capitals decorated with cabbage leaves are said to come from the old bell tower. On the face of the bell tower, above the door, a carved stone bears the Comborn shield, consisting of two passing lions. A community of friars served the church since 1491.
Characteristics: it consists of a rectangular vessel divided into four bays, flanked on the north by a stair tower and a modern chapel, and preceded on the west by a bell tower-porch. The bays of the nave are covered with ribbed vaults and separated from each other by pointed double arches. The bell tower-porch dates from the 15th century.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1963.
Like many other small towns in Creuse, Gentioux was populated by the Creuse masons who left for six months of the year to build buildings throughout France. In the 19th century, this emigration went from being seasonal to permanent. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the village was home to a commandery of the Knights Templar and later the Hospitallers of Jerusalem, of which the church of Sainte-Madeleine de Pallier, listed as a historical monument in 1973, and the church of Saint-Martial, listed in 1926, remain. The commune has a third place of worship, also protected, the church of the Relics of Saint-Etienne, which depended on the abbey of Port-Dieu. In the hamlet of Pallier, an 18th century royal notary's house is also listed.
Saint Martial's Church
Construction: 13th century.
History: the church was built in the 13th century, burnt down around 1357 and rebuilt in the 15th century. It was the head office of the Gentioux commandery and then a member of the Charrières commandery within the great priory of Auvergne.
Characteristics: rectangular church with four bays, the last of which forms a choir. Polygonal capitals with baskets sculpted with flowers and animals. Modern bell tower having replaced a wall-belfry. Portal with three arches, pointed arch, capitals with hooks and human masks, frieze-forming abacuses.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1926.
Its Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul church is listed, while the Banizette estate, owned in the 17th century by the son of notary Louis Rousseau, is listed as a Historical Monument.
St. Peter and St. Paul's Church
Construction: 12th, 15th and 17th centuries.
History and characteristics: the church is mentioned as early as 1105. It was then dedicated to Saint Peter and depended on the archpriesthood of Aubusson. The first three western bays date from the 12th century, 5.50-m wide, with low barrel vaults. The fourth and fifth bays date from the 15th century and are 6-m wide. The façade was rebuilt in the 17th century. The bell tower is separate from the nave of the church. It was probably built in the 17th century.
Listed: Historical Monument since 1923.
Felletin is famous for its tapestries, mentioned as early as the 15th century, and was for a long time a rival of Aubusson, its neighbour 10 km away. In the 17th century, it was even home to a royal factory. Today, the Ateliers Pinton are the last company to continue this activity. An exhibition of tapestries is organised every summer in the church of Notre-Dame du Château, decorated by Le Corbusier, one of the two listed churches in Felletin. The town is now associated with Aubusson in the cultural and tourist promotion of tapestry. The town was also famous for its diamond industry. The commune is also home to one of the last traditional woolen mills in France, the Terrade mill, whose know-how is listed as part of France's intangible cultural heritage. Felletin, which organised a popular criterium in the 1960s and hosted the Tour du Limousin, is also the club of Jean-Luc Masdupuy, who finished “lanterne rouge” of the 1996 Tour de France.
The 1967 French road cycling championship
Felletin organised the 1967 French road championship, won by Désiré Letort, who was disqualified shortly afterwards for doping... Letort, who had an eventful career and life, finished 4th in the Tour de France that year and wore the Yellow Jersey in 1969. He died in 2012. In his memoirs, Jean-Marie Leblanc recalls this French championship: "But then, on the starting line – I was very close to him –, one of the favourites of this French championship, the Breton Désiré Letort, a very good rider by the way, but bravado and provocative, took out of the back pocket of his shorts several small tablets and shouted to the crowd in his peasant language: – Guys, oldman Letort, doesn’t give a shit about their controls. I'm not afraid, look... On arrival, a few hours later: first Letort. Was there a connection between cause (the tablets) and effect (the victory)? No doubt. The fact remains that the unconscious Breton rider who tested positive of course cried out for injustice and even stirred up the elected officials of his region who, unwisely, took up his cause. But nothing was done, fortunately I must say: Letort was downgraded. And today I read, with amazement and dismay, articles in which the person concerned relates the episode as a piece of bravery. How can we change mentalities and behaviours at this zero level of awareness and responsibility?”
Aubusson tapestry (listed as Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2009)
Aubusson tapestry is a centuries-old tradition, using processes practised in Aubusson and a few other localities in Creuse, such as Felletin. This craft produces wall hangings, generally of large size, intended to decorate walls, but also carpets and pieces of furniture. Aubusson tapestry is based on an image of any artistic style, prepared on a cardboard by a cartonnier. The weaving is carried out manually by a weaver on a loom placed horizontally on the reverse side of the tapestry, from wools dyed by hand on site. This demanding process involves a significant amount of time and cost. Aubusson tapestries are a reference throughout the world, to the extent that Aubusson has become a common name in some languages. The production of tapestries in Aubusson and Felletin provides a living for three small companies and a dozen independent weavers, generating significant spin-off activity (wool production and spinning, trade, by-products, museum, exhibitions and tourism).
Saint-Frion was the birthplace of Marcel Balsa, a racing driver who competed in ten F1 Grand Prix in the 1950s (only one in the world championship). The church of Saint-Frédulphe (14th century) has been listed as a Historical Monument since 1926 and has been partially listed since 1997, due to the mural paintings that have been discovered there.
Château du Bas-Bouteix
Construction: 17th century.
History and characteristics: the oldest mention of the site dates from 1362. A rural house belonging to Felletin nobles from the beginning of the 17th century, redesigned in the 19th and 20th centuries (front building from 1900). It has a plan common to many buildings in the region: a long main building with towers and corbelled turrets at the corners and a central straight staircase. Some defensive elements (machicolations and loopholes with musketry) were used against attacks by small armed groups and against the disturbances due to the Wars of Religion which persisted in the Lower Limousin until around 1640. The interior is divided into two main rooms, on either side of a winding staircase with two straight flights with a resting place and landing. No original interior decoration remains.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1994.
The present village was a western stronghold of the county of Auvergne before it became part of the Dauphiné of Auvergne in the 12th century. The origin of the popular uprisings in the central and southern provinces, better known as “jacqueries des croquants”, is sometimes located here. The Chapal fur company, created in Crocq in 1832, continued its development in France and the United States. The factory grew to occupy over 20,000 m2 on the original site and employ 400 people. Today, the company no longer processes furs but produces high-end leather clothing and accessories. It is recognised as a Living Heritage Company. It was Chapal's boss, Pierre Bardinon, who in 1963 created the Mas du Clos car circuit in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Avit, where the film Michel Vaillant was shot in 2003. Former Spanish Prime Minister Francisco Largo Caballero, in exile in France, was placed under house arrest in Crocq in 1941.
Castle of Crocq
Construction: 12th century.
History: the stone castle was built in 1190 by Robert Count of Clermont, Dauphin of Auvergne, son of William VII Count of Auvergne, who was stripped of his title and lands. Crocq is one of the seigneuries that William VII managed to keep and represents the western point of his lands, which were to take the name of Dauphiné d'Auvergne. Crocq is on the ancient road from Clermont to Limoges via Felletin. Crocq and the Combraille were confiscated in 1196 by King Philip Augustus when Robert and his cousin Guy II, Count of Auvergne, joined forces with Richard the Lionheart. The castle was destroyed by order of Richelieu in 1632.
Current destination: few elements remain, but for several years a local association has been working for its restoration. The interior of the left tower is used as an exhibition space, and a panorama has been set up at the top.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1926.
AUVERGNE RHÔNE ALPES REGION
Departments: Ain, Allier, Ardèche, Cantal, Drôme, Isère, Loire, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône, Métropole de Lyon, Savoie, Haute-Savoie.
Population: 8 million
Area: 69,711 km2
Specialities: Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône and Savoie wines, Lyon specialities (quenelles, cervelles de canut, saucisson.), potée auvergnate, Savoyard specialities (raclette, fondue, tartiflettes, diots, crozets), cheeses (beaufort, reblochon, cantal, bleu d'Auvergne, Salers, saint-Nectaire...), green lentil of Le Puy, waters (Evian, Thonon, Volvic) verbena, chartreuse.
Sports clubs: Olympique Lyonnais, AS Saint-Etienne, Clermont Foot 63, Grenoble Foot 38 (football). ASM Clermont, Lyon OU, FC Grenoble, Stade Aurillacois, US Oyonnax (rugby union), ASVEL Villeurbanne (basketball), Chambéry (handball), Brûleurs de loup Grenoble, Pionniers de Chamonix (ice hockey)
Competitions: women's football world cup, ski competitions (critérium de la Première neige in Val d'Isère), Tour de France passes, Critérium du Dauphiné.
Economy: (8e European region) high-tech industries, automotive (Berliet), metallurgy, rubber, plastics, chemicals, electronics, food processing, textiles, digital, banks, universities, administrations, viticulture. tyres (Michelin). Design. New technologies (Inovallée) Winter and summer tourism.
Festivals: Fête des Lumières in Lyon, Nuits de Fourvière in Lyon, quais du polar in Lyon, biennale du design in Saint-Etienne, classical music festival in La Chaise-Dieu
Tourist sites: old Lyon and Croix-Rousse, Puy-en-Velay cathedral, Lake Annecy, Chambéry castle, winter sports in Isère, Savoie and Haute-Savoie, Cantal, thermal resorts, Auvergne volcanoes. Caverne du Pont d'Arc. Castle of Grignan. Bastille of Grenoble. Vulcania. Parc des Oiseaux.
Websites and social networks: www.auvergnerhonealpes.fr
Sub-prefecture : Ambert, Issoire, Riom, Thiers
Area: 7,970 km2
Specialities: cheese (Bleu d'Auvergne, Cantal, Fourme d'Ambert, Salers, and Saint-nectaire), Salers beef,
Major sports clubs: ASM Clermont Auvergne (rugby), Clermont Université Club (basketball),
Major competitions: Mont-Dore hill climb (car), Volvic cross-country race.
Festivals: international short film festival in Clermont-Ferrand, Europavox, Jazz en tête, Jazz aux sources in Châtel-Guyon, international festival of world music and dance in Issoire, Coutellia in Thiers.
Tourist sites: Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park, thermal spas (La Bourboule, Châteauneuf-les-Bains, Châtel-Guyon, Mont-Dore, Royat-Chamalières and Saint-Nectaire), Notre-Dame-du-Port in Clermont-Ferrand, cutlery museum in Thiers, winter sports (Super-Besse, Le Mont-Dore)
Economy: tyres (Michelin), food industry (Limagrain, mineral water), metallurgy, thermalism, tourism.
Websites and social networks : www.puy-de-dome.fr
Saint-Avit was the birthplace of Georges Conchon (1925-1990), winner of the Goncourt Prize in 1964 for L'État sauvage (The Savage State) and later a successful novelist, journalist and screenwriter. Georges Conchon was also a cycling enthusiast, as evidenced by his script for the film Une affaire d'hommes (1981), a police intrigue in a cycling club involving Claude Brasseur and Jean-Louis Trintignant. A lover of the Tour de France and the Puy de Dôme, he wrote: "The Tour de France has undoubtedly done more for the national unity of France than any of the great events it has witnessed throughout the 20th century.” The city of Clermont-Ferrand has named one of its cultural spaces Espace Georges Conchon.
The church of Pontaumur has been equipped with a modern organ inspired by the one in Arnstadt (Thuringia). This organ, particularly adapted to the performance of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, was designed and installed in connection with the development of the Bach Festival in Combrailles by the organ builder François Delhumeau; it was inaugurated on February 1, 2004, by Marie-Claire Alain and Gottfried Preller, organist in Arnstadt.
Bromont-Lamothe is the birthplace of the filmmaker Robert Bresson (1901-1999). Very much influenced by the Catholic upbringing that inspired all his work, he made thirteen feature films and wrote an important essay on cinema entitled Notes sur le cinématographe. Considered one of the greatest French directors of his time, his awards include the Cannes Film Festival's director’s prize in 1957 for Un condamné à mort s'est échappé (A Man Escaped), the Grand Prix de Création in 1983 for L'Argent, the Jury Prize in 1962 for Procès de Jeanne d'Arc (The Trial of Joan of Arc), the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for Le Diable probablement (The Devil probably) in 1977, and the Lion of Honour for Career Achievement at the Venice Film Festival in 1989. Since 2000, every year at the Venice Film Festival, a prize in his name has been awarded to someone whose work is "significant for its sincerity and intensity in the search for the spiritual meaning of our lives".
Construction: 12th to 15th centuries.
History: it owes its name to the arms of the one who made it build at the end of XIIe century, Robert I, Dauphin of Auvergne, the town of Pontgibaud held a strategic role. The initial construction was modified in the 15th century by Gilbert III Motier de La Fayette, who reinforced the defences and enlarged the keep. Abandoned in the 17th century for a more comfortable building, damaged during the French Revolution, the castle was finally restored at the end of the 19th century by Count César III de Pontgibaud. The castle has been inhabited since 1756 by the same family, the descendants of a king's musketeer, César I de Moré. The current owners, Count and Countess Gabriel de Germiny, are their descendants.
Characteristics: The main building is a double keep: a round keep forms one of the corners of the powerful square keep. The two parts are independent. The square keep is built around an inner courtyard covered in the 19th century by a glass roof. The fortified wall had seven towers, six of which are still standing today. The castle also includes a 16th century garden and vegetable patch, also listed as a historical monument, and the museum of the silver mines of the Pontgibaud canton.
Current destination: the castle, garden and museum are open to visitors.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1995. Remarkable garden.
Volvic is internationally known for the production of its bottled water. It is also famous for its stone. From 2014 to 2018, it was the starting point for the Volvic-Feytiat cycle race. Volvic also hosts one of the oldest French cross-country races, the Volvic cross-coutnry, which celebrated its 64th edition and crowned the greatest French (Michel Jazy, Noël Tijou, Jacky Boxberger, Bob Tahri) and international (Emiel Puttemans, Paul Kosgei, Paul Melly) runners.
Volvic is a brand of bottled water marketed since 1935 and has belonged to the Danone food group (Water division) since 1992. The Clairvic deep spring is located in Volvic, in a protected public park, the Goulet and Cheires de Bruvaleix, filled in about 10,000 years ago by volcanic emissions and flows: pozzolan, basalt and andesite (Volvic stone) from Puy de la Nugère. The Volvic brand uses Puy Pariou, recognisable by its appearance, as its emblem for its bottles.
Volvic stone is a volcanic rock that was widely used in construction, particularly in the vicinity of Clermont-Ferrand and Riom. It comes mainly from quarries located near Volvic. Volvic stone is a trachy-andesite. It comes from the lava flows of Puy de la Nugère. It is a grey stone with many small bubbles and feldspar. It is resistant to frost and chemical products. It has a low expansion coefficient. All these characteristics make it an interesting material for construction.
Bosredon Castle and Sahut Museum
Construction (castle): 14th and 15th century
Opening (museum): 1988.
History: the castle is built in the Italianate style, with large windows, an abundance of chain-links and grey stone bands framing white plasterwork, a balustrade at the edge of the roof, outside stairs and a terrace. In 1901, the commune of Volvic bought the castle of Bosredon and part of the outbuildings. From the beginning of the 20th century until 1982, the castle housed a retirement home. From 1985 to 1988, the castle was transformed to house the Sahut Museum, which was inaugurated on 30 March 1988.
Current destination: the Sahut museum is an art museum, labelled as a French museum, specialising in Volvic stone and enamelled lava. It is named after Marcel and Yvonne Sahut, whose personal collection was the basis for the creation of the museum.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 2010
Stage town for the 12th time
Prefecture of Puy-de-Dôme (63)
Population: 147,300 (Clermontois), 296,000 in the Clermont Auvergne Metropolis
Personalities: Vercingétorix, André and Édouard Michelin (industrialists), Alexandre Vialatte (writer), Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (President of the French Republic), Blaise Pascal, Henri Bergson, Michel Foucault (philosophy), Fernand Raynaud (comedian), Arletty (actress), Chantal Lauby (comedian and actress), Laure Adler (journalist and writer) Fanny Agostini (presenter), Claire Chazal (journalist, presenter), Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (ice dancing), Jessy Tremoulière (rugby), Geoffroy Mathieu (French 200m backstroke swimming champion), Axelle Etienne (BMX), Raphaël Geminiani, Romain Bardet, Rémi Cavagna (cycling), Renaud Lavillenie (athletics, pole vaulting)
Specialities: fruit jellies, Le Lautrec chocolates, aligot, truffade auvergnate, potée auvergnate, tripoux, potato pâté, lard and lentils, apple pumps. Cheese: Saint Nectaire, Fourme d'Ambert, Bleu d'Auvergne, Cantal. Volvic water. Vineyards: Côtes d'Auvergne.
Sport: 150 sports associations and 30,000 members, including ASM Clermont-Auvergne (rugby), Clermont Foot 63, JA Vichy-Clermont Métropole Basket.
Events: All Star pole vaulting, Le Tour Auto, Clermont en Rose (running), Clermont Week-end Courses
Economy: Industry of the future and mobility alongside international companies (Michelin, Trelleborg, Aubert et Duval, etc.); Agri-food agriculture and the environment (Limagrain and the leading INRA centre in France outside Paris); Wellness, prevention, health and nutrition; Digital; Cultural and creative industries (Allegorithmic, Riot house production, Biscuit production, etc.)
Festivals: International Short Film Festival (January), Europavox festival (contemporary music, June), the Contre-plongées (summer cultural season: films, readings, street theatre, concerts and large-scale circus shows), Jazz en tête (October), le rendez-vous du carnet de voyage (November)
Labels: flower city (3 flowers), child-friendly city, I-Site, Clermont Auvergne French tech, 3rd most creative city in France (2018), Apicité, UNESCO learning city. Project to apply for the title of European Capital of Culture for 2028.
Websites / FB / Twitter / Insta: www.clermont-ferrand.fr / www.clermontmetropole.eu / https://www.clermontauvergnetourisme.com/ / https://www.puy-de-dome.fr/ / https://www.facebook.com/villedeclermontferrand/ / https://www.facebook.com/clermontmetropole/ / https://twitter.com/clrmntmetropole / https://twitter.com/ClermontFd / https://www.instagram.com/villedeclermontfd / https://www.instagram.com/clermontauvergnetourisme/ / https://www.facebook.com/Clermont.Tourisme/ / https://twitter.com/clrmntauvergne / https://www.facebook.com/Departement63 / https://twitter.com/Departement63
This suburb of Clermont-Ferrand is the birthplace of Pierre Teilhard-de-Chardin, a French Jesuit priest, researcher, palaeontologist, theologian and philosopher, who is world famous for his work in reconciling science and Christian faith. The Michelin family vault is located in the Orcines cemetery.
The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, stretching from central France to the Swiss-Italian border, combines historic cities and vast natural beauty. Amongst green national parks you can find dormant volcanoes and mountain ranges ideal for hiking and sports. Make the most of a rest day in Clermont-Ferrand. This interesting city offers impressive attractions and architecture, not yet overrun by tourists. Take in the majestic Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption or visit one of the museums to learn about art and local industry. This is also the birthplace of the Michelin brothers, so expect fine cuisine! Wine connoisseurs cannot miss out Beaujolais, a chance to sample the local produce among vineyards and beautiful villages. Santé!
Top 5 things to see and do:
1. Wander round Clermont-Ferrand's city centre
2. Hike up Puy-de-Dôme for epic views
3. Tour the wine-making region of Beaujolais
4. Appreciate the region's history
5. Dine in the birthplace of the Michelin brothers
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